UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

09/28/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2021 04:23

Webinar: Advancing Open Educational Practice in the MENA Region in line with UNESCO OER recommendations

Recommendation on OER adopted unanimously by 193 members' states at the UNESCO General Conference at its 40th session in November 2019 - supports the creation, and contribution to the building of open and inclusive knowledge societies, and to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Recommendation outlines five Areas of Action, namely:

  1. Building the capacity of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER;
  2. Developing supportive policy for OER;
  3. Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER;
  4. Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER;
  5. Promoting and reinforcing international cooperation in OER

During the webinar participants will be introduced to the work of the UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition which has been set up to support stakeholders in the implementation of the above Recommendation. In addition, the OER Commons and the UNESCO OER hub will be demonstrated, which contains collections of Open Education Resources (OER) curated by UNESCO and partner countries, which are aligned to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (CFT).

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Bisher Imam, Officer in charge, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science for the Arab States, Cairo

Dr. Bisher Imam is currently serving as Officer in Charge of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science for the Arab States. He has a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Aleppo, MS and Ph.D in watershed hydrology from University of Arizona. He served as research faculty at the University of Arizona and the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Imam joined UNESCO as a senior consultant in 2010 at UNESCO Headquarters. He served between 2012 and 2014 as the Deputy Secretary of UNESCO International Hydrological Programme at UNESCO Headquarters. In 2015, He began field service as Regional Hydrologist for the Arab States at UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States in Cairo and was designated as Officer in Charge of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab States starting on 15 Sept, 2021. He is the Author and co-author of more than 60 peer reviewed publications on topics ranging from water resources management, remote sensing and hydrological processes, hydrologic modelling and climate change impacts on water resources. Dr. Imam served on several NASA, NOAA, and NSF panels and as a member of the US National Research Council's committee on flood maps.

  • Ms. Melinda Boland, Director, OER Services at ISKME

Melinda brings over 20 years of experience in the educational technology and publishing space to ISKME and OER Commons. At ISKME, Melinda manages a team of project managers, information management professionals, and designers who together produce all of ISKME's OER products and services.

  • Dr. Luis F. Pérez, Technical assistance specialistat CAST

As a technical assistance specialist for the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials, Luizpromotes the creation, delivery and use of high quality accessible educational materials and technologies to support equitable learning opportunities for students through the National AEM Center.. Dr. Perez holds a doctorate in special education and a master's in instructional technology from the University of South Florida (USF).

  • Dr. May Shamandy- Acting Director, Regional Centre for Information & Communication Technology

Extensive experience in designing, producing, and implementing distance learning and training programs content, implementing artificial intelligence in training, dealing with different educational resources, knowledge of open educational resources, high skill in conveying expertise and knowledge to others, as well as strategic planning and leadership skills as a requirement to form and manage teams to achieve goals.

  • Dr. Gihan Osman, Member of the UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition group

Dr. Gihan Osman is a Senior Advisor for Teaching and Learning Innovations at the British University in Egypt (BUE), and a member of the UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition- Capacity Building group. Before assuming her new responsibilities Dr. Osman worked at the American University in Cairo (AUC) as an assistant professor of instructional design and technology at the department of International and Comparative Education and the Center of Learning and Teaching.

  • Mr. Andrew Moore,Senior Manager at Neil Butcher & Associates (NBA)

Andrew Moore completed a M.Ed. degree specializing in Computer Assisted Education at the University of Pretoria in 2002. He is a senior manager at Neil Butcher and Associates (NBA), an educational technology consultancy firm based in Johannesburg South Africa.
He has worked as an author, materials developer, instructional designer, web interface designer and educational technology trainer. He is currently a project manager supporting projects that exploit Open Education Resources (OER), the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for teachers (CFT) and technology for Education Ministries, and both Higher and Primary Education institutions. These institutions have been spread around the developing world including West, East and Southern Africa, India, the Philippines, Oman and the Caribbean.


  • Dr. Fawzi Baroud, Assistant Vice President Information Technology, UNESCO Chair on Open Educational Resources (OER) for Access and Success at Notre Dame University- Louaize.